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The Night Abraham Called to the Stars: Poems Paperback – Apr 2002

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Night Abraham Called to the Stars 27 Nov. 2006
By GirlPowerNazi - Published on
Format: Paperback
The title poem, refered to as "clunky" by the Publishers Weekly reviewer, is also one of the first poems of the many, many that I have read and collected that really spoke to me. It is one that I enjoy reading still today.

Perhaps this collection is technically inferior in some ways that more studied men than I might disdain, but it feels like a Hermann Hesse novel to me: I know that it isn't the "best" literature, but it is literature that inspires me to feel and contemplate, which makes it a favorite of mine.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Part of a larger conversation 1 Aug. 2010
By Douglas Bass - Published on
Format: Paperback
There are some things I like about these poems.

In this volume, Robert Bly has introduced a number of readers to the ghazal form, which is a good thing. It's my understanding that he's taken a small amount of poetic license with the form, but I don't have a problem with that.

There are some great images that address the human condition, ("We are faithful companions to the unfaithful stars," "Beauty has reached us drenched in birth blood," "...we were born mortgaged and howling.")

Humanity is recognized as part of nature in this collection, and man and nature are together in the same wobbly old boat. Nature is just as fallen as mankind, we live in the kingdom of the serpent. "Every old frog is a son of Robespierre"

And yet, people try to be more than a badger digging in the mud, people try "to climb on the sounds of their lover's names toward God," as improbable as success might be.

There are some things I don't like about these poems.

"As I was saying to the Prince of Wales the other day, I just hate it when people drop names." And Bly does this in abundance in this volume. It would be nice if there were pictures of the paintings referenced in the poems, or even a little context about the people mentioned. That's why I'm not giving this book five stars.

I suggest that instead of reading this book by itself, you read it with the books "My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy: Poems" (more poems by Bly) and "The Soul is Here for Its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures" (spiritual poems collected by Bly) The title poem is the first poem in The Night Abraham Called To The Stars, and "My sentence was a thousand years of joy." is the last line of the last poem in that book. Those two books are mirror images of each other, in a way. There's a section in "The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy" about the animal soul, the Nafs, the mischief it can cause, and what to do about it. There were many places in "The Night Abraham Called To The Stars" where I recalled poems in "The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy"
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